United States v. Kahriger

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United States v. Kahriger
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued December 16–17, 1952
Decided March 9, 1953
Full case name United States v. Kahriger
Citations 345 U.S. 22 (more)
73 S. Ct. 510; 97 L. Ed. 754; 1953 U.S. LEXIS 2699; 53-1 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) ¶ 9245; 43 A.F.T.R. (P-H) 93; 1953-1 C.B. 456
Prior history Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
The federal occupational tax on persons engaged in the business of accepting wagers under the 1951 Revenue Act was constitutional.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Fred M. Vinson
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · Stanley F. Reed
Felix Frankfurter · William O. Douglas
Robert H. Jackson · Harold H. Burton
Tom C. Clark · Sherman Minton
Case opinions
Majority Reed, joined by Vinson, Burton, Clark, Minton
Concurrence Jackson
Dissent Black, joined by Douglas
Dissent Frankfurter, joined by Douglas, in part
Laws applied
U.S. Const. art. I, §8, clause 1; U.S. Const. amend. X; Revenue Act of 1951
Overruled by
Marchetti v. United States, 390 U.S. 39 (1968)

United States v. Kahriger, 345 U.S. 22 (1953),[1] was a United States Supreme Court ruling that held certain provisions of the Revenue Act of 1951 were constitutional, in particular sections related to an occupational tax on persons involved in gambling.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Congressional purpose of penalizing intrastate gambling under the guise of imposing a tax did not violate the Constitution by infringing the police power reserved to the states. The Court stated: "Unless there are [penalty] provisions extraneous to any tax need, courts are without authority to limit the exercise of the taxing power."[2]

The Supreme Court also ruled that the 1951 Revenue Act did not violate the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. However, this holding was later overruled by the Court in Marchetti v. United States.[3][4]


  1. ^ United States v. Kahriger, 345 U.S. 22 (1953).
  2. ^ Gerald Gunther, Constitutional Law, p. 198-199, Foundation Press, Inc. (11th Ed. 1985).
  3. ^ Marchetti v. United States, 390 U.S. 39 (1968).
  4. ^ Gerald Gunther, Constitutional Law, p. 198, Foundation Press, Inc. (11th Ed. 1985).

Further reading

  • Callison, James W. (1953), "Congressional Powers: Validity of the 1951 Gamblers' Occupational Tax Act", Michigan Law Review, 52 (1): 150–152, doi:10.2307/1285372.
  • Coons, John E. (1953), "The Federal Gambling Tax and the Constitution", Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, 43 (5): 637–642, doi:10.2307/113964.

External links

  • Text of United States v. Kahriger, 345 U.S. 22 (1953) is available from:  CourtListener  Google Scholar  Justia  Library of Congress 
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